[Iraqi] President attempting to prevent execution of Iranian Kurds
Published in “Der Standard” (Austria) on November 22, 2009
Source (German): http://derstandard.at/1256745407025/Praesident-will-iranische-Kurden-vor-Hinrichtung-retten
Jalal Talabani traveled to Tehran, according to media information
Suleimaniya – According to media information, Iraqi president Jalal Talabani has traveled to the neighboring Iran on Sunday in an attempt to prevent the execution of Kurdish citizens. As reported by the internet issue of the newspaper “Awina”, Talabani met the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday, pleading to save the lives of Iranian Kurds who have been sentenced to death. According to Talabani’s wishes, Ahmadinejad should call on head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani to not execute these convicts. Talabani is a Kurd himself. Until now, the report has not been officially confirmed by the Iraqi side.
Demands to abolish death penalty
Last week, deputies of the Kurdish minority in Iran had demanded the death penalty for members of their ethnic group to be abolished, warning of rifts between the Iranian Kurds and the government in Tehran in case the death penalty would continue to be applied. As reported by the news agency ILNA, the Kurdish deputies also addressed Larijani in a letter after the Kurdish citizen Ehsan Fatahian had been executed despite protests of the members of parliament. The Iranian province of Kurdistan, situated on the border with Iraq, is mainly inhabited by Sunnis, while the majority of the entire population of the country are Shia. The Kurds make up about seven per cent of the 70 million population of Iran.